Massachusetts will surprise you with the food and produce you can find here, as we've seen.
We have to admit that wine is not something we'd ever expect to find "locally grown."
But an article in the most recent issue of Edible Boston says otherwise. In Will Oenophiles Embrace What's Being Made Here? Clare Leschin-Hoar explains that Massachusetts wine-production is challenging, but far from impossible!
Grape growers and wine producers in Massachusetts are up against two challenges: the law and the land.
Leschin-Hoar says that the "tangle of Massachusetts regulations on alcohol are complicated and can be discouraging for new growers..." Current regulations limit or prevent producers from offering tastings and even selling their products off-site. Even then, the number of cases they are allowed to actually sell to consumers is tightly controlled.
And then there's the land itself. As one of the farmer's quoted in the article says, "Land that will grow wonderful apples or sweet corn and tomatoes doesn't necessarily translate to grapes."
Still, it sounds like there's getting some cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and chardonnay grapes to take root in the rocky soil!
Though she doesn't go into great detail in her article, Leschin-Hoar makes reference to wines made from fruit other than grapes being made in Massachusetts and world-class hard cider. While these wines aren't major players on the global scene (yet!), they still have a distinct and viable market.
These "fruit" wines are something we'd like to hear more about! We like the idea of blueberry wine and red raspberry wine. To us, this feels even more local and true to Massachusetts terroir than grapes that have been imported and trained to grow in our soil.
Do any of you have experience with fruit wines? How do you like them?
For the full article--including listings of Massachusetts wineries--visit the Edible Boston website.
(Image: Edible Boston)